Your spouse calls with good news! the pregnancy test results are positive. Now, out of the blue, you're seeing babies everywhere. Not only that, but you also start noticing baby food, diapers and hundreds of other baby and pregnancy-related products in the supermarket. The same supermarket that you've been shopping for groceries in for the past 3 years, and you didn't even know that this much baby and pregnancy-related products were merchandised there.
Defining the point of market entry
That's what happens when, as a customer, you become a part of a new market. Or what is called a "point of market entry". A life event happens or a lifestyle change causes you to start noticing, considering and even searching for certain types of purchases that you weren't interested in before.
According to Josh Kaufman in his book "The Personal MBA", the point of market entry can be simply defined as:
The point where a potential customer becomes receptive to your offering. It’s highly likely that you won’t care about wheel chairs until you need one.
A good example on using Point Of Market Entry (POME) tactic, is P&G. It provides Pampers diapers to new parents at the hospital after giving birth. It's also said to be sending a Fusion ProGlide Razor to nearly all U.S male consumers on their 18th birthday (or around it). The tactic here is to put these P&G product samples in the hands of their customers during the period of time in which they will start actively searching for and using this kind of products.
Why should you care?
If you learned how to use the power of the Point Of Market Entry (POME) in your market the right way, you'll boost both your sales and customer loyalty. Here's how.
According to Kaufman, when you put your products in the hands of your customers just when they're starting to get interested in the type of products you offer, you become the standard by which they evaluate similar offerings from your competitors.
This means you're already one step ahead of everyone else. A level of trust in your product has already been established when they tried it (given it's of a good quality). Consequently you'll need much less effort to convince them to buy again and again compared to regular leads.
On the other hand, Unlike putting your product in front of total strangers and hoping that it sparks an interest with them, it's much easier to sell, up-sell and cross-sell to people who are already interested in what you have to offer.
Is it relevant to eCommerce?
Well, of course it's relevant. The POME concept is more of a psychological shortcut to customer acquisition. The principle itself won't change whether you're a brick and mortar business, an online store, a coaching business,...etc. The difference, however, will be in how you leverage the point of market entry to suit the type of your business and the type of your customers.
If we take a step back and look at it, we'll find that POME concept is even more relevant for eCommerce. Back in the 1980s, for example, companies were having a hard time to find customers right when they enter their markets. But now, with the rise of search engines and other AI-powered social media platforms, you can do the same in a much easier way. The following tips will give you a hint on how you can do so.
How to reach customers at the point of market entry ?
In online advertising, we now have access to a lot of targeting tools that you can use to show your ads to customers at their point-of-market-entry. It can be through social platforms, search-engine ads or whatever type of online ad you prefer. You can start by small campaigns on different platforms to target this type of audience and see which of them converts better.
The unicorn of targeted ads in this case is search engine ads (like Google Adwords and Bing). While in social ads people are shown ads in their feed or chat, in search engine ads, your ad is shown when people actively ask about topics relevant to your ads' content.
So, for an online store selling baby formula, you can link your ad to keyword related to the questions pregnant women ask about caring for a newborn. This will increase the possibility of pregnant women and new moms (your POME customers) will view and respond to it. You can also increase your ad conversion by include a free offer, a sample, or a discount in your ad to encourage them to take action.
Create and promote relevant content
This is one of the most powerful ways to attract audiences that are new to your market. Since by definition they are entering a new market, this means there's a shift or a change in their lifestyle or behavior on some level.
consequently, they have a lot of questions to ask regarding this new situation. Back to our baby formula example, pregnant women usually consume a lot of online content on how to deal with pregnancy, caring for newborns and many more questions.
When you create effective high quality content on your website that provides answers to these questions, you'll attract new moms to your website, build trust and position your brand in their minds as experts in this domain. This will boost the likelihood of them choosing your brand over the competitors, and increasing sales and customer loyalty.
Partnerships, partnerships and partnerships
Yes, you read it right. There's no high-end tech here. It's the good old fashioned partnerships. Instead of only advertising online with millions of other advertisers, hoping that customers click through to your link (with a good portion of them being unqualified leads), you can find the stores, companies, institutions and other places where your desired POME customers are already aggregated.
Then reach out and give them a taste of what you have to offer. Be it free samples, vouchers, promo codes for your eCommerce store, bundled discounts, Buy One Get One (BOGO) or any other attractive deal. It's important to make sure you minimize the investment they have to make in this first product to increase the likelihood of redeeming this offer. That's why free samples are the best option.
If you're an eCommerce selling health supplements, for example, you can partner with local gyms to offer the new gym-goers free sample of your best supplements.
Take out a pen and paper (or a google doc) and write where your potential customers might be hanging right when they entering your market. Is it hospitals (in case you're marketing to new moms), is it gyms? Yoga studios? you name it.
Try applying this concept in your next promotional campaign and tell us how it went. You can also share your opinion about it and join the conversation on Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.